No Gluten for me, please

Happy Monday everyone,

I hope that everyone had a great Father’s Day and that your Dad’s were appreciated accordingly. 

I decided to cook brunch for my father and husband this year.  I did this for two reasons: 1) we are about to go on vacation next week and I must reserve as much moula as possible for the trip; and 2) one of my best friends, Sylvana, was in town and we had decided that I would cook for her when she came because she had not yet seen the house and she loves my cooking.

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She’s going to kill me for putting her picture out there because she has on no makeup, but I think she’s beautiful even when relaxing before a plane ride.  Sylvana has a wonderful job as a Project Manager for a CRO (Clinical Research Org) that has cause her to move away from me so I’m really happy to get the opportunity to hang with her whenever I can.  Her visits are never really long because she travels so much for work, so when we were planning this visit we had to make every moment count. 

Last week when I was planning my menu for brunch I had all these things pop into my head that would be awesome and that I know she, my dad, and husband would love.  Suddenly I remembered that I need to bring it back a notch because Syl has recently switched to a gluten-free diet, due to medical reasons.  What to do…what to do? I knew I could cook some main dishes gluten-free, but what about dessert?  I did some pricing research for gluten-free flour and I picked my mouth up off the floor and started thinking again.  ($6 for a 2 1/2 lb bag of flour people…really 😦 )  I thought I would make something light a refreshing and something I know she’ll love…Lemon Tarts. 🙂  Right up until Sunday morning I was thinking I would do a graham cracker crust for the tarts.  I awoke at 4 am and thought, NO!!! graham crackers are made with flour you goof-ball.  Right after it hit me…RICE FLOUR.  I’m going to make a regular pastry using rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. 

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Using my “Joy of Cooking” Flaky Pastry Recipe, I substituted the rice flour for the all-purpose flour. The end result seemed a little grainier than what my regular pastry dough felt like.  018

This is what it looked like before I added the ice water.  Looks about the same right?  It just felt a little different.  After adding the water and getting it formed into a ball (I have found that when I’m making bread and pastry/pie dough I like to do the process by hand and have stopped using the mixer – with dough hook, and food processor) I didn’t want to chance trying to roll the pastry out later.  I grabbed my jumbo muffin tin and pressed the dough in the cups and placed the tin in the frig to chill while I made the filling. 

The crust weren’t the prettiest things in the world, but they turned out really good.  I had to pack Sylvana’s to go because she had a plane to catch and she had stuffed herself with brunch she couldn’t eat the dessert protion (she thought the fruit parfait was dessert :)) .  I had one served with whipped cream and I had to toot my own horn.  Toot Toot!  They were really light and the crust was still flaky and tasted great.  I guess I can go gluten-free.

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Do you have any great gluten-free dessert recipes?  I would love to hear about them.

 

Gluten-Free Pastry Dough

2 1/2 cups rice flour

1/2 cup shortening, chilled

1/2 cup butter, very cold

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

enough ice water to bring together, about 1/3 cup

Combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the shortening and butter using a pastry blender until pea-sized balls are seen. (See picture above.  You could also use a food processor but you should pulse until you get the right consistency).  Slowly add water – I used a tablespoon and added the first 5 then mixed and added a tablespoon at a time to make sure that I didn’t add too much liquid.  When it seems as if it’s maybe going to come together then you should move it to your countertop and bring together to form a ball.  At this point you can wrap it in plastic wrap to chill or press into your pan to form your pastry.  If you  go straight to the pan I would suggest you place it in the frig to chill before baking or filling.

Lemon Tart Filling (courtesy of Paula Dean)

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 2 1/2 lemons)

2 tbsp sour cream

4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar (her recipe called for confectioners sugar but I used granulated)

Zest of a lemon (her recipe did not call for this, but I added because I just had to. 😉

Combine the ingredients and pour into “blind-baked” tart shells.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  Let them cool and serve with whipped cream.

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